Quantcast

«

»

Dec 08 2013

For the sake of dignity

David Robert Grimes wrote a piece in the Irish Times a few days ago saying why marriage equality is a good idea, starting with why homosexuality shouldn’t rumple anyone’s mind.

From the perspective of traditional Catholic doctrine, homosexuality is “ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil”, and is considered a deeply unnatural state of being –peccatum contra naturam.

Not only is this a classic example of the naturalistic fallacy, it also spectacularly fails to stand up if one takes even a cursory glance at the natural world; homosexual behaviour is ubiquitous in the animal kingdom and has been documented in more than 1,500 species, from giraffes to elephants to dolphins and our primate cousins.

Peccatum contra naturam is such a worthless category. I’ve said it before but what the hell…it never fails to entertain me, noting all the ways bishops and posts sin against nature. They wear clothes! And not only that, they wear clothes that are dyed different colors. You don’t see tigers wearing purple robes and jewel-encrusted tall hats; peccatum contra naturam. They eat cooked food! Peccatum contra naturam. When they get sick they take medicine. They travel in cars. They travel in airplanes. They use electric light. They are on the internet. They tweet. Peccatum contra naturam.

The comments are interesting.

This one:

Please.
For the sake of dignity, would the gay lobby desist from hijacking Nelson Mandela’s sad death in their campaign for same sex marriage?
He hasn’t even been interred yet for goodness sake.
It’s not that long ago since we had the unsavoury spectacle of the hijacking of a woman’s death for another ideological campaign here in Ireland.
Show some respect.
Have some class.
For once in your lives.

What an extraordinary thing to say, as if the death of Savita Halappanavar had nothing to do with the unavailability of abortion even in emergencies in Ireland. It’s not “hijacking” someone’s to death to point out that her death was preventable and would have been prevented under a slightly more humane law.

And as for Mandela: why not invoke him in a conversation about rights and equality and fairness?

7 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Al Dente

    And as for Mandela: why not invoke him in a conversation about rights and equality and fairness?

    This article in the Los Angles Times says that Mandela should be invoked when discussing GLBT rights:

    Nobody on the continent has held more moral authority than Mandela, the first post-apartheid president of South Africa. From the beginning, Mandela spoke out for gay rights in South Africa, the only African country with a constitution protecting homosexuals from discrimination.

    Shortly after becoming president, Mandela appointed an openly gay judge to South Africa’s High Court of Appeal.

  2. 2
    Anthony K

    It’s not that long ago since we had the unsavoury spectacle of the hijacking of a woman’s death for another ideological campaign here in Ireland.

    How terrible, hijacking death like that.

    What’s the symbol for Christianity again?

  3. 3
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Not just that, but there was the whole campaigning for marriage equality thing. I’d call that a pretty good reason to bring him up in discussions of marriage equality.

  4. 4
    Nathair

    And as for Mandela: why not invoke him in a conversation about rights and equality and fairness?

    Because shut up, obviously.

  5. 5
    left0ver1under

    A lot of Israel-at-any-cost types are either calling Mandela an “anti-semite” for being agaisnt Israeli Apartheid or attempting to claim that he supported Israeli Apartheid. Mandela was against all discrimination, including Israel’s, and some would like to pretend the facts are different to further their political and social agendas.

    You don’t have an equal society when any group of people or individuals do not have the same rights as everyone else, no matter how unpopular or how few they are. Institutionalized and legislated discrimination is apartheid.

  6. 6
    Stacy

    @Anthony K

    How terrible, hijacking death like that.

    What’s the symbol for Christianity again?

    http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/046/443/127097131928.jpg

  7. 7
    Iain Walker

    It’s worth bearing in mind that in the context of traditional Catholic doctrine “unnatural” doesn’t mean “not occuring in nature” or even “not the normal state of affairs observed in nature”. It means something more like “contrary to the purpose for which God created us”. Because Nature, of course, is God’s sandpit and we’re his toys, and never mind the fact that as agents in our own right we are perfectly capable of determining purpose for ourselves.

    Also, I think what Grimes means is the Appeal to Nature fallacy (a fallacy in normative ethics, in which the occurrence of something in nature is deemed to be sufficient to justify it), which isn’t quite the same thing as the Naturalistic Fallacy (a fallacy in metaethics in which facts about nature are held either to be logically equivalent to moral statements or to directly entail them).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>